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Theme Of Love, Money And Marriage In Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice.

921 words - 4 pages

The intricate nexus of marriage, money and love in Jane Austen's society is unfolded through the development of plots and characters of her novel Pride and Prejudice. In the nineteenth century's rural England, marriage was a woman's chief aim, both financially and socially. Financially because of women's dependent position marriage was the "only honourable position", infinitely preferable to the dependence of precarious shabby-genteel spinsterhood. Money was, therefore, a very significant aspect of Austen's society, especially when marriage was concerned. "A single man of large fortune" was naturally considered as "a nice thing" for the unmarried girls. Partners were chosen for what might now seem unemotional reasons: fortune and connections, similar to, but preferably better than one's own. By representing a series of marriages, Austen in this novel unearths and elucidates different aspects of the role of marriage, money and love in her society.Austen was a realist and painted her time as they were. In this novel, love and money-based Darcy-Elizabeth marriage is the most successful one whereas the marriage of Elizabeth's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, is one of the faulty ones. Mr. Bennet married his wife being "captivated" and tempted by her "youth, beauty" and physical appearance. He forgot that the first appeal of a pretty face does not last long unless serenity of mind and sweetness of temper provide more enduring powers of attraction. Moreover, Mrs. Bennet inherited no property. So, form every point of view, this marriage is a failure. Mr. Bennet, therefore, always has to endure her "weak understanding", vulgarity to such and extreme degree that he has nothing to revel in except confining himself to his library all the day, and thus eluding the necessary rituals of family and society.Charlotte's loveless matrimony for financial security with the pompous Collins is another interesting marriage. Being twenty-seven and plain looking and realizing that it is her last chance, she accepts the grotesque Mr. Collins, to whom the role of romance and love in life is beyond the reach. He only wants a wife, because in the eyes of the society it is time for him to settle and be married.Charlotte knows that apart from some kind of security and happiness, marriage gives a woman a position. She has few hopes of happiness in marriage beyond the material comfort it can give and so she marries Collins who is inferior in intelligence, only for the 'home and position' he offers, as she believes "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance".The marriage and money theme operates in a baffling way when Elizabeth herself comes to marry. When she sees Pemberly, her 'prejudice' against Darcy begins to be 'subdued' and later by accepting him she makes the most glorious match of and of Austen's heroines. The fact that Darcy has then thousand pounds a year is not to be...

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